Today is one of those days I sat down at my computer to write a little bit and just can’t muster up the will to do it. This chapter is really giving me trouble – I think no matter how many times I outline and sketch out the argument, it just feels over-worked and forced. Which makes me worry that I don’t in fact have a very strong argument in this chapter. Now, maybe this chapter doesn’t need to have a stronger argument than “the whole idea of an anarchist identity (esp. one that is constituted through lifestyle practices) is problematic and here are some of the reasons why” but that feels pretty uncompelling to me. Like it’s the kind of thing that will only be interesting if you happen to care about anarchism as a political project. Maybe that a valid basis for a chapter, I dont know – this book is in a series called Contemporary Anarchist Studies after all. I think what I need to do it spit out what I’m saying about anarchist identity, like just get it down on paper, and then use the introduction and last section to position it as a set of questions and observations that can be fruitful to consider for other social movements/identities. Basically, give myself a stern talking to in which I say, just write this damn chapter, Laura, you can perfect it to death (aka refine the argument) later. It’s worth remembering that this was the sample chapter that got two thumbs-ups from the anonymous referees, so it couldn’t have been too awful to begin with.
I’m having a pipe dream that I will get a good draft of the chapter done by Tuesday (when I leave for LA for 3 weeks), which will then put me in a position to print out and read the 4 main body chapters as a complete set. Then I can spend my time in LA writing the more meta Lifestylism chapter, which basically needs to be written/assembled from scratch. It may be a silly idea to try and write a new chapter while physically separated from my primary sources (my little box of anarchist ephemera + shelf of anarchist books) but hopefully I have enough notes on this stuff to carry me through a first draft. I’m bringing my Bookchin with me, but that’s it.
Ok, I’m feeling a surge of will power coming on. Better go harness it!